Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ignite Session Final Draft Response to Proposal

Here is the link to the YourTube Ignite presentation:

Why am I doing this?
I am preparing to not only let my skeletons out of the closet, 

but to embrace them and let them teach me to dance. I have hidden my past for two long...

What do you think your 'true-calling' is?  
I believe my true calling is to follow my passion to find a way and help others. Whether they are disabled children of Belarus, throw away teens living in the streets or even leading staff to be the best they can.      

What is one interesting thing about yourself that you want to share?  
You can share your interests, hobbies, fascinating travel experiences, education, etc.

I was a teenage runaway that fought for my life in the streets. I am now happily married with a wonderful family and career as a successful association executive with an advanced degree in business management.

In 75 words, please provide a short bio about yourself.  
I have been serving as the Chief of Education of the International Right of Way Association (IRWA), in Gardena, California since 2003. I am currently a DELP scholar, was awarded ASAE’s CAE designation in January of 2011 and received my Master’s in Management in 2009. I reside in Redondo Beach, California with my husband, Jeremiah, my assistance dog Isis and three cats.

Tell us about your IGNITE idea!
Please share your ideas regarding the IGNITE session you would like present at the 2011 Annual Meeting & Expo.

Suggested IGNITE Session Title :  

I was a teenage runaway.   

Ignite Session Description
Describe the session topic and what you intend to cover in your five-minute IGNITE presentation. Please limit your write-up to 100 words.

I am a survivor. My life began as a neglected and abused child in search of love and affection. As a teen I was seduced into the world of the hippies and ran away to become a flower child. However, life went from good, to bad to ugly over the course of nearly five years living in the streets.

The defining moment that changed my life was the result of a bad drug deal. Shotguns were pointed at the belly of a pregnant girl. I was that girl. I not only survived the streets, but was able to turn my life around and eventually became successful in life with a wonderful family and a career association management.  

I hope my story will change the perspective many people have about runaways, teenage homeless as well as to give hope to those that followed a similar path.

Short Session Description
In just 15 words, what would the marketing blurb be to advertise your IGNITE session?

True confessions of a homeless flower child: releasing, learning from and embracing the skeletons in my closet.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ignite Session Draft 1

I need to develop a response to a call for proposals for a presentation at a conference.. this is my first draft of the overview... comments and feedback welcome:

In pursuit of the love I craved but did not receive at home, I ran away from home to become a flower child. I ended up spending most of my teen years either fighting for my life living in the streets or serving time as a ward of the state. By the time I was 18, I had given up hope of a normal life and had resigned to the fact that I would spend the rest of my life as one of those sad faces that no one wants to look at; one of those that call the street their home.

The defining moment in my life was the day I found myself in the middle of a really bad drug deal. It was just another day for the girlfriend of a dealer. I sat on the living floor and watched the transaction go down; suddenly, the front door was violently kicked in. Men in masks were wielding shot guns and demanded money and drugs. The dealers refused; and at that point, the shotguns were aimed at the belly of the pregnant girl. That girl was me. The year was 1973.

Through sheer willpower and determination I was able to overcome insurmountable odds and led a life that was somewhat normal. I got off the streets, went back to school to not only complete my associate degree, but a bachelor’s degree and then even furthered my education with a master’s degree in business.
I have faced many demons on my chosen path but I have a firm belief that it was for all for a higher purpose. My passion is to find others that may be lost on that same path and give them back what the streets have taken from them. Hope.